At the heart of the contradiction that is proposed by some reading the gospel narratives is the Matthean story of the Angel at the tomb and the number of angels/men that the women see.
Why, if the women saw the stone being rolled back and an angel sitting on it in front of a paralysed guard contingent did Mark, Luke and John not record this remarkable event? It does not seem to make sense for the writers of the gospels who have devoted much space to the resurrection narratives to not include this event. It is also asked whether there were two angels at the tomb as some gospels record or whether there were more.
The question that has been posed by those who deny biblical inerrancy is whether or not the visitation to the tomb was at early dawn, before dawn or when the sun had already risen? It seems that John and Mark at the least contradict each other here with John saying that it was still dark and Mark saying that the sun had risen.
It is this apparent series of contradictions in the passages above that will be assessed in this short post with the conclusion reached that these are not contradictory passages at all. I have deliberately chosen Darby’s version of Matthew 28:1 as he brings out the translational issue best when contrasted with the other gospels relating to whether the actions involved took place on the day of the Sabbath.